Climate Change

Climate Change is now becoming a new problem for all
of us just have a look at the photos below


melting of ice caps


cracks on the earth's surface



Hawaii's akikiki is one of ten already endangered U.S. species that are under added threat from global warming, according to a December 2009 report by the Endangered Species Coalition, an advocacy network based in Washington, D.C.

The Canada lynx


The world's largest turtle, the leatherback tips the scales at some 1,100 pounds (500 kilograms), but its young are rather delicate . He is also an endangered species

latwoods salamander


major causes of climate change

Climate change is mainly caused by anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG: CO 2 , CH 4 , N 2 O, HFC, PFC, and SF 6 ), which accumulate in the earth's atmosphere and trap heat. The concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide, a leading cause of global warming, continues to increase with world population growth and economic development. Human activities resulting in emission of GHG include: electricity generation from fossil fuel fired power plants (and thus use of electricity); GHG emission from manufacturing processes; transportation by gasoline driven vehicles; and methane gas emitted from solid waste landfill sites. One scenario by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projects that a doubling of atmospheric equivalent CO2 concentration would increase the global temperature by approximately 2 degrees by the year 2100, resulting in a rise of around 50 cm (maximum of 95cm) in the sea level of the world's oceans .


In addition to change in global climate system and sea level rise, studies show that adverse events such as change in participation patterns, floods and droughts, desertification, frequent and stronger cyclones, coastal flooding, effects on hydrology and eco-systems, effects on agriculture and fishery, and extended exposure to contagious diseases are likely to occur as a consequence of climate change.

While developing countries are said to be most vulnerable against these adverse effects of climate change , as in many cases lack the capacity to adapting to these changes, most of the GHG emitted and accumulated in the atmosphere up until now has been the by-product of the economic development of the industrialized countries. .


What is carbon footprint ?

carbon footprint is "the total set of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by an organization, event or product" [1]. For simplicity of reporting, it is often expressed in terms of the amount of carbon dioxide, or its equivalent of other GHGs, emitted.

example of COPENHAGEN


How to calculate your carbon footprint ?

Your carbon footprint is the direct effect your actions and lifestyle have on the environment in terms of carbon dioxide emissions. Probably the biggest contributors to your footprint are your travel needs, and your electricity demands at home. However, all your actions have a direct or indirect impact, including your diet, and the clothes you wear. We know cars, buses and aeroplanes burn gasoline, public transport may use gasoline and electricity and your home uses a significant portion of your personal electricity needs that generally comes from fossil fuel burning power plants. All these actions contribute to accelerating global warming and climate change.

How to reduce it?

Reducing your emissions is a vital part of combating climate change. We encourage everyone to be aware of their energy usage and its effects, and take steps to reduce this. What remains can be offset through our Carbon Free programme.

1 By being more energy efficient at home, you can reduce your emissions and lower your energy bills by more than 30%.
2 Adjust your air conditioner and heater thermostat when you go out and shut down your system when you are away for extended periods.
3 Turn off and unplug stereos, radios, TVs, and DVDs when you leave for holidays. 4 4 These appliances have a stand-by function that uses energy even when they are turned off.
5 Close doors to unused rooms trapping heating or cooling in rooms in use.
6 Consider switching to compact fluorescent lighting. Compact fluorescent light bulbs use about 75 per cent less energy than incandescent bulbs.
7 Insulating your walls and ceilings can save 20 to 30 percent of home heating bills and reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 1 tonne per year.
8 Clean all of your heating and cooling appliances, making sure they are dust free.
9 Energy is lost when heating units have to work harder to draw air through dirty filters. Ensuring that your air conditioner filter is clean can save 5 percent of the energy used.
10 Wash your dishes manually, or ensure your dishwasher is full when you run it.
11 Allow your dishes to air dry, by not using the heat in the drying cycle can save 20 percent of your dishwasher's total electricity use.
12 Where possible walk or bike to your destination. Fuel use through transport constitutes a large proportion of total UK emissions.
13 Recycle glass, metals, plastics and paper.
14 Plant shade trees and paint your house a light color if you live in a warm climate or a dark color if you live in a cold climate.
15 Turn your refrigerator down.
16 Select the most energy-efficient models when you replace your old appliances.
17 Look for the Energy Star Label - your assurance that the product saves energy and prevents pollution.
18 Slow down and drive sensibly. The faster and more aggressive you drive, the more petrol your car uses.

The role of trees in offsetting your emissions

Trees are green machines that act as natural filters of our air. Through the process of photosynthesis they absorb carbon dioxide (a key GHG and principle contributor to global warming) from the atmosphere and store it in their trunk, branches, leaves, roots, soil and foliage, while releasing oxygen back out.

Whereas deforestation, degradation and poor forest management reduce carbon storage in forests, sustainable management, planting, and rehabilitation of forests can increase carbon sequestration. In fact the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation states “global carbon retention resulting from reduced deforestation, increased forest regrowth and more agro-forestry and plantations could make up for about 15% of carbon emissions from fossil fuels over the next 50 years (2006).”

how trees are effective to this ?

Not only are trees an effective means for absorbing and storing the carbon you emit, they have far reaching benefits that extend well beyond that of filtering the air. Sustainably managed forests and urban forestry projects have multiple environmental and socio-economic functions important at the global, national and local scales, and play a vital part in sustainable development. Forests are sources of wood products. They help regulate local and regional rainfall. And forests are crucial sources of food, medicine, clean drinking water, and immense recreational, aesthetic, and spiritual benefits for millions of people.

How Climate Change affects India ?????????


Precisely at a time when India is confronted with development imperatives25, we will also be severely impacted by climate change. Like other developing countries, several sections of the Indian populace will not be able to buffer themselves from impacts2,8 of global warming. With close economic ties to natural resources and climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture, water and forestry, India may face a major threat15, and require serious adaptive capacity to combat climate change. As a developing country, India can little afford the risks and economic backlashes that industrialized nations can. With 27.5% of the population still below the poverty line, reducing vulnerability to the impacts of climate change is essential15.

It is in India’s interest to ensure that the world moves towards a low carbon future. Many studies have underscored the nation’s vulnerability to climate change8. With changes in key climate variables, namely temperature, precipitation and humidity, crucial sectors like agriculture and rural development are likely to be affected in a major way.Impacts are already being seen in unprecedented heat waves, cyclones, floods, salinisation of the coastline and effects on agriculture, fisheries and health8.

India is home to a third of the world’s poor, and climate change will hit this section of society the hardest. Set to be the most populous nation in the world by 2045, the economic, social and ecological price of climate change will be massive.

The future impacts of climate change, identified by the Government of India’s National Communications (NATCOM) in 2004 include25:

1 Decreased snow cover, affecting snow-fed and glacial systems such as the Ganges and Bramhaputra. 70% of the summer flow of the Ganges comes from meltwater
2 Erratic monsoon with serious effects on rain-fed agriculture, peninsular rivers, water and power supply
3 Drop in wheat production by 4-5 million tones, with even a 1ºC rise in temperature
4 Rising sea levels causing displacement along one of the most densely populated coastlines in the world, threatened freshwater sources and mangrove ecosystems
5 Increased frequency and intensity of floods. Increased vulnerability of people in coastal, arid and semi-arid zones of the country
6 Studies indicate that over 50% of India’s forests are likely to experience shift in forest types, adversely impacting associated biodiversity, regional climate dynamics as well as livelihoods based on forest products.
7 India stands to lose on too many counts to allow a ‘climate-politics-as-usual’ scenario. Therefore, positive engagement with global climate negotiations at the next UNFCCC meeting in December 2009 is crucial8.

India’s accelerating emissions


Although not an emitter historically, India currently has one of the fastest growing economies in the world. With a government target of 8% GDP to achieve developmental priorities16, a share of one sixth of the global population, and changing consumption patterns, India’s emissions are set to increase dramatically.

Growing at an almost breakneck pace, and guzzling coal, gas and oil in large quantities4, we are today, the fourth largest emitter of greenhouse gases worldwide. Although our per-capita emissions are among the lowest in the world, our growth rates imply that the past is no predictor of the future8. The most recent IPCC report suggests that India will experience the greatest increase in energy and greenhouse gas emissions in the world if it sustains a high annual economic growth rate. The International energy Agency predicts that India will become the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases by as early as 2015.

India imports large quantities of fossil fuels to meet its energy needs, and the burning of fossil fuels alone accounts for 83% of India’s carbon dioxide emissions. Nearly 70% of our electricity supply comes from coal. Although India has maintained its clear economic and social development imperatives, the government recognizes that climate change is an serious problem, and that business as usual is no longer the way forward.

India on climate change

India has committed to actively engage in multilateral negotiations in the UNFCCC, in a ‘positive and forward-looking manner’15. The government recognizes that ‘global warming will affect us seriously’ but maintains that the ‘most important adaptation measure to climate change is development itself’8. This has ensured that India’s position at the UNFCC has stubbornly remained ‘common but differentiated responsibility’. Under the UNFCCC agreement itself, India is not subject to any binding emission reduction targets until the year 2012.

In spite of this guarded stand, India has ‘declared’ that even as it pursues its social and development objectives, it will not allow its per capita emissions to exceed those of developed countries. The 11th 5-year plan does make headway in reducing energy intensity per unit of GHG by 20 percent while boosting cleaner and renewable energy8.

In June 2008, the Prime minister released the much awaited National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC). The NAPCC outlines a strategy by which India will adapt to climate change, while maintaining a high growth rate, protecting poor and vulnerable sections of society and achieving national growth objectives11. It focuses on eight areas intended to deliver maximal benefits to development and climate change (mitigation and adaptation). However, detailed action plans for each mission, and any clear targets are missing from the report8.

Although the action plan may be a missed opportunity for leadership on climate change, the good news is that change is coming8. Realising that the market is changing, and not to be left behind in the global race, Indian businesses are beginning to take on climate change as a business issue.

What we need now is for the government of India to capitalize on India’s position as a developing giant, take the lead and engage with governments of the world and the private sector for a low-carbon future.

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